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HiFlyer

At least 245 die in Brazilian nightclub fire

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My first thought is how the heck could this happen? :wacko:

 

We will be seeing more news on this as the situation clarifies itself, but lets hope the death toll does not rise any higher.

 

At least 245 people have been killed in a Brazil nightclub after a fire ravaged through the building in the early hours of this morning. Initial reports were that 90 people perished in the blaze, but the death toll has steadily been rising as more bodies have been found in the packed nightclub.

 

While the official cause of the blaze has not been stated, local reports claim it was sparked by a firework set off during a band's performance.

 

The total number of victims is still unknown and there may be hundreds injured, civil police and regional government spokesman Marcelo Arigoni told Radio Gaucha. He told the radio a truck carrying 70 bodies had arrived at the Municipal Sports Centre, which was being used as an improvised morgue. Police believe there are about 20 bodies still inside the club. At least 200 people have been injured, they said.

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail...l#ixzz2JByOEHhc

 

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Wow, what a loss of life. Goes to show just how dangerous fire can be and how important it is to have a plan in place for an evacuation if the need ever arises, god forbid.

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Sad indeed. My uncle lives in Santa Maria and he said a couple of his friends were in there when it happened.

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What makes it worse that this may have been the result of the same mistakes. This is based on some reports about the use of pyrotechnics.

 

http://en.wikipedia...._nightclub_fire

 

In The Station fire, it was a very fast moving and very smoky fire. The rush of people to the limited exits resulted in the crowd falling and literally getting stuck in a pile in the doorway.

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Yes this is very similar to The Station fire involving pyrotechnics setting the acoustic lining on fire around the stage.

 

You would think by now the technicians would know not to do this, and to use fireworks inside a nightclub like that is so irresponsible I would consider it a criminal act at this point. There has been enough fires started in this way already.

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Arrests have been made. There are always arrests after crap like this, and if you remember previous incidents, you will probably have a good idea of the sorts of violations and etc that will be found. Why do people continue to go to these clubs? Even as a kid, when I saw places like that, the "this is a death-trap" vibes were obvious. :unsure:

 

(But then, at the time, I pretty much thought that adults with their alcohol and smoking and sweaty dark loud places were crazy anyway)

 

http://www.usatoday....b-fire/1867777/

 

SAO PAULO, Brazil — Police in Santa Maria said Monday they've made three arrests and are seeking a fourth person in connection with a nightclub fire that killed 233 people.

 

Inspector Ranolfo Vieira Junior said the arrests are for investigative purposes. He said the detentions have five-day limits. A preliminary investigation indicated that a band's pyrotechnics show ignited the blaze. One band member died in the blaze.

 

The Zero Hora newspaper quoted lawyer Jader Marques as saying his client Elissandro Spohr, a co-owner of the club, was arrested. The paper also said two band members were arrested. Partygoers fleeing the nightclub were briefly delayed by security guards routinely charged with ensuring that bar tabs are paid, police said.

 

Firefighters arriving minutes later were hampered by the pile of bodies blocking the lone exit.

"It was terrible inside — it was like one of those films of the Holocaust, bodies piled atop one another," police inspector Sandro Meinerz said. "We had to use trucks to remove them. It took about six hours to take the bodies away."

 

More than 100 others were injured when the fire broke out at 3 a.m. Sunday at the Kiss nightclub Santa Maria, Brazil, at the southern tip of the country near the borders with Argentina and Uruguay.

On Monday, hundreds of caskets were lined up in a nearby gymnasium. The first funerals were schedule for later in the day.

 

The club was hosting an event for a local university, and most of the attendees were students of that school, the Federal University of Santa Maria in the southern state Rio Grande do Sul.

 

COLUMN: Causes of Rio fire hauntingly similar to the R.I. fire

 

Television images showed smoke pouring out of the nightclub as shirtless, young male partygoers joined firefighters in wielding axes and sledgehammers, pounding at windows and walls to break through to those trapped inside. Teenagers sprinted from the scene desperately trying to find help — others carried injured and burned friends away in their arms.

 

"There was so much smoke and fire, it was complete panic and it took a long time for people to get out, there were so many dead," survivor Luana Santos Silva told the Globo TV network.

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As a local to the Station fire, this story hit all too close to home for many of us.

 

I remember heading into work on the day after the Station fire (a Saturday). I work in the same town as the fire, a few doors down from the Town Hall/Public Safety building, where lots of media was basing itself for the story. NBC national news sent a crew into our lobby to interview our Exec. Vice President as some of our folks had very close calls with friends and family members who were at the show... unbeknownst to them at the time, but one of our co-workers had lost her son in the fire.

 

Not only do the families in Brazil have to deal with the loss of their friends and family, but they have to come to grips with the fact that it was an entirely preventable situation. That makes coping all the more difficult.

 

I'm keeping them all in my thoughts.

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Below is an excerpt from a recent report. As I suspected the similarities to other incidents are adding up and up and up. Fire violation..... locked exits.... overcrowding.... pyrotechnics.... We have seen this story before. :(

 

http://www.latimes.c...,0,499081.story

 

SANTA MARIA, Brazil — It was just before 3 a.m. when the resident DJ tweeted a photo from inside the popular Kiss nightclub, where a singer was belting out a song between two huge columns of pyrotechnic sparks.

 

"The house is mega-packed," DJ Bolinha wrote. "Great to play here."

 

Soon after, the ceiling caught fire. Flames spread. Toxic smoke swirled through the club, causing a stampede of sweaty bodies toward the exit. Some people fainted; others were trampled. Some poured through a bathroom door, apparently believing it led outside — or simply wanting to get out of the smoke.

 

Police would later find scores of bodies in the bathroom, which provided no escape. They were among more than 230 people who died early Sunday in the club in Santa Maria, a college town of 250,000 in southern Brazil. It was one of the worst fires in Brazilian history, and the worst nightclub fire worldwide in the last decade.

 

"I saw loads of smoke and fire, and I thought it was just part of the show," said Fernanda Bona, who was taking photos at the club. "But then I saw that no, it was real, and thank God, I was close to the exit and ran to it with hundreds of other people — who were pushing and falling, and choking, but I managed to get out."

 

She was lucky. "The scene was terrible, lots of toxic smoke and so many people dying," Bona said in a telephone interview. "The atmosphere around here, words aren't sufficient to describe it. It feels like this is a nightmare, and we'll wake up and everything will be fine. But it won't."

 

The tragedy in the relatively rich state of Rio Grande do Sul shocked the country, which woke to chaotic, televised scenes of firefighters and bare-chested men pulling people from the smoking building.

 

A tearful President Dilma Rousseff announced that she had canceled plans to attend a summit in Chile and instead went to Santa Maria to visit victims.

 

"I'd like to tell the population of our country, and of Santa Maria, that we are all together in this moment," Rousseff said. Brazil canceled a ceremony planned for Monday to celebrate the 500th day before the country hosts the 2014 World Cup.

The fire was among a series to occur in nightclubs around the world, and the worst since December 2000, when a disco fire in Luoyang, China, killed 309 people. That blaze was blamed on a welding accident, but others have been blamed on indoor pyrotechnics.

 

Among them was a fire at a club in Perm, Russia, that killed 152 people in 2009; one in Buenos Aires that killed 194 people in 2004; and one in West Warwick, R.I., that killed 100 people in 2003.

 

As families gathered Sunday at a makeshift morgue at a gymnasium in Santa Maria and waited for news, authorities and survivors tried to find causes for the tragedy.

 

The nightclub did not have its fire permit up to date, authorities said. The band that was playing, Gurizada Fandangueira, performed an indoor pyrotechnics show that included flares — a flourish that has been blamed for a number of fatal nightclub fires internationally in recent years. Firefighters said there was only one exit, and that it was closed and locked when the chaos began.

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